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Shares in Hong Kong took a synchronised nosedive on Monday as markets struggled to cope with the ramifications of the UK’s departure from the EU.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed down 2.92 per cent after falling as low as 5.78 per cent as firms with heavy exposure to the UK took a serious pounding.

HSBC led the charge downwards with a drop of 6.59 per cent for the day, though not far behind were two arms in the empire of Li Ka-shing, Cheung Kong Infrastructure (-5.48 per cent) and CK hutchison Holdings (-5.07 per cent).

Major Chinese petrochemicals firms saw their Hong Kong-listed units take heavy hits as well: PetroChina fell 4.43 per cent, while Cnooc dropped 3.93 per cent. China Unicom, another state-owned enterprise with a unit listed on the exchange, also fell 3.9 per cent.

Only three stocks managed not to end the day down, all of them with gains of less than half a percentage point.

Outside the index Standard Chartered suffered far worse losses, falling 9.48 per cent at the close. Hong Kong Exchanges, operator of the exchange and which bought the London Metal Exchange in 2012, fared better with a fall of only 1.77 per cent.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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